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SECOND DIVISION

CYNTHIA V. NITTSCHER,
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 160530
Present:

- versus -

QUISUMBING, J., Chairperson,
CARPIO,
CARPIO MORALES,
TINGA, and
VELASCO, JR., JJ.

DR. WERNER KARL JOHANN
NITTSCHER (Deceased), ATTY.
ROGELIO P. NOGALES and THE
Promulgated:
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
MAKATI (Branch 59),
November 20, 2007
Respondents.
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DECISION
QUISUMBING, J.:

For review on certiorari are the Decision[1] dated July 31, 2003 and
Resolution[2] dated October 21, 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
55330, which affirmed the Order[3] dated September 29, 1995 of the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Branch 59, Makati City, in SP Proc. No. M-2330 for the probate of a
will.
The facts are as follows.
On January 31, 1990, Dr. Werner Karl Johann Nittscher filed with the RTC
of Makati City a petition for the probate of his holographic will and for the
issuance of letters testamentary to herein respondent Atty. Rogelio P. Nogales.

Nogales Law Offices has been named executor under the Holographic Will of Dr. 1996. 1991. Nittscher executed pursuant to the provision of the second paragraph of Article 838 of the Civil Code of the Philippines on January 25.On September 19. accepts the trust and gives a bond as required by these rules. Nogales was issued letters testamentary and was sworn in as executor. Rogelio P. but her motion was denied for lack of merit. Atty. moved for the dismissal of the said petition. and proved in accordance with the provision of Rule 76 of the Revised Rules of Court is hereby allowed. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals alleging that respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary should have been dismissed outright as the RTC had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and that she was denied due process. the executor named in the Will.P. being in order. Nogales filed a petition for letters testamentary for the administration of the estate of the deceased. Dr.” In the case at bar. The petition for the issuance of Letters Testamentary. Nittscher. provides “when a will has been proved and allowed. let Letters Testamentary be issued to Atty. Nittscher’s surviving spouse. Werner J. to wit: In view of all the foregoing. However. Werner J. the court in its September 29. Atty. after hearing and with due notice to the compulsory heirs. . thus: WHEREFORE.[4] On September 26. Hence. Nittscher. Nogales. herein petitioner Cynthia V. Nittscher died. if he is competent. Dr. Nogales of the R.[5] Petitioner moved for reconsideration. and granted respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary. without a bond. 1990 in Manila. SO ORDERED. Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court. On May 9. petitioner Atty. SO ORDERED. Section 4. Rogelio P. Philippines. 1994. 1995 Order denied petitioner’s motion to dismiss. the motion to dismiss is DENIED. the probate court issued an order allowing the said holographic will. premises considered. is GRANTED. the Holographic Will of the petitioner-testator Dr. As prayed for. the court shall issue letters testamentary thereon to the person named as executor therein.

thus: WHEREFORE. II. SO ORDERED. THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT SUMMONS WERE PROPERLY ISSUED TO THE PARTIES AND ALL PERSONS INTERESTED IN THE PROBATE OF THE HOLOGRAPHIC WILL OF DR. Nittscher was allegedly not a resident of the Philippines. She adds that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of this case because Dr. 04-94 OF THIS HONORABLE COURT.The appellate court dismissed the appeal.[6] Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the aforequoted decision was denied for lack of merit. the appeal is hereby DISMISSED and the assailed Order is AFFIRMED in toto. OBVIOUSLY. . the foregoing considered. IV. Hence. THE CA ERRED IN NOT DECLARING THAT THE LOWER COURT [HAS] NO JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE PRESENT SUIT. the present petition anchored on the following grounds: I. 28-91 AND ADMINISTRATIVE CIRCULAR NO. IT WAS FILED IN VIOLATION OF REVISED CIRCULAR NO. Petitioner claims that the properties listed for disposition in her husband’s will actually belong to her. She insists she was denied due process of law because she did not receive by personal service the notices of the proceedings. NITTSCHER.[7] Petitioner contends that respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary lacked a certification against forum-shopping. neither did he leave real properties in the country. The court a quo is ordered to proceed with dispatch in the proceedings below. BOTH THE CA AND THE LOWER COURT ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING OUTRIGHT THE PETITION FOR LETTERS … TESTAMENTARY FILED BY ATTY. III. NOGALES WHEN. THE CA ERRED IN CONCLUDING THAT THE PETITIONER WAS NOT DEPRIVED OF DUE PROCESS OF LAW BY THE LOWER COURT.

however. which we find supported by evidence on record. whether a citizen or an alien. the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of any province in which he had estate. Nittscher’s will. counters that Dr. Respondent points out that petitioner even appeared in court to oppose the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary and that she also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition.) In this case. the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is not an initiatory pleading. but a mere continuation of the original petition for the probate of Dr. the RTC and the Court of Appeals are one in their finding that Dr. Anent the second issue. his will shall be proved. should no longer be disturbed. He stresses that petitioner was duly notified of the probate proceedings. Where estate of deceased persons settled. 04-94[9] of the Court require a certification against forum-shopping for all initiatory pleadings filed in court. Unless there is a showing that the findings of . Such factual finding. 28-91[8] and Administrative Circular No. Nogales. Section 1. Respondent maintains that the petition for the issuance of letters testamentary need not contain a certification against forum-shopping as it is merely a continuation of the original proceeding for the probate of the will. Metro Manila.Respondent Atty. Time and again we have said that reviews on certiorari are limited to errors of law. As to the first issue. respondent’s failure to include a certification against forum-shopping in his petition for the issuance of letters testamentary is not a ground for outright dismissal of the said petition. and if he is an inhabitant of a foreign country. Nittscher did reside and own real properties in Las Piñas. – If the decedent is an inhabitant of the Philippines at the time of his death. in this case. Metro Manila at the time of his death. Revised Circular No. Rule 73 of the Rules of Court provides: SECTION 1. We resolve to deny the petition. and his estate settled. or letters of administration granted. Hence. However. Nittscher was a resident of Las Piñas. in the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) in the province in which he resides at the time of his death. … (Emphasis supplied.

[11] The authority of the probate court is limited to ascertaining whether the testator. She likewise filed a motion for reconsideration of the issuance of the letters testamentary and of the denial of her motion to dismiss. In this case. Nittscher had no child. being of sound mind. Nittscher correctly filed in the RTC of Makati City. Metro Manila. petitioner’s claim of title to the properties forming part of her husband’s estate should be settled in an ordinary action before the regular courts. of the probate proceedings. Dr. 4. freely executed the will in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law. with whom Dr.[12] Thus. records show that petitioner. Rule 76 of the Rules of Court states: SEC. by registered mail. Regarding the third and fourth issues.the lower court are totally devoid of support or are glaringly erroneous. We are convinced petitioner was accorded every opportunity to defend her cause. Section 4. and Dr. this Court will not analyze or weigh evidence all over again. applying the aforequoted rule. Therefore. petitioner should realize that the allowance of her husband’s will is conclusive only as to its due execution. As a final word. notice shall be sent only to his compulsory heirs. In this connection. – … If the testator asks for the allowance of his own will. . Nittscher asked for the allowance of his own will.[10] Hence. petitioner’s allegation that she was denied due process in the probate proceedings is without basis. Petitioner even appeared in court to oppose respondent’s petition for the issuance of letters testamentary and she also filed a motion to dismiss the said petition. devisees. and executors to be notified by mail or personally. Nittscher’s children from his previous marriage were all duly notified. we note that Dr. which then covered Las Piñas. the petition for the probate of his will and for the issuance of letters testamentary to respondent. Heirs. legatees.

1995 of the Regional Trial Court. which affirmed the Order dated September 29. 55330.R. QUISUMBING Associate Justice . No pronouncement as to costs.WHEREFORE. CV No. 2003 and Resolution dated October 21. No. M2330 are AFFIRMED. Makati City. in SP Proc. The assailed Decision dated July 31. LEONARDO A. SO ORDERED. 2003 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Branch 59. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

CARPIO Associate Justice CONCHITA CARPIO MORALES Associate Justice DANTE O. Article VIII of the Constitution. QUISUMBING Associate Justice Chairperson C E R T I F I C AT I O N Pursuant to Section 13. VELASCO. Associate Justice AT T E S TAT I O N I attest that the conclusions in the above Decision had been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.WE CONCUR: ANTONIO T. I certify that the conclusions in the above Decision had . LEONARDO A. JR. and the Division Chairperson’s Attestation. TINGA Associate Justice PRESBITERO J.

REYNATO S. PUNO Chief Justice .been reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.